Leeds is seemingly becoming an increased hotbed of commercial activity, with notable demand for office space in the city, both as consequence and result. As such, this demand has led to a considerable spike in those rents associated with quality refurbished space, where Savills has reported these values hitting circa £26 per square foot of office space; a figure which remains £1 shy of new-build, Grade A offices (£27 per square foot).
The major factor to which this situation can be attributed seems to be the enhanced levels of demand seen from organisations which are aiming to “set up shop” and benefit from the comparatively low living and property costs in the city. This, in effect, has led to such increases in demand volume and associated developments that Leeds now stands as the city with the second largest volume of development starts, as reported by Savills.
Yet, whilst the situation is naturally prey to the whims of the uneven scales of supply and demand, the increased number of new developments is expected to tip the scales slightly more favourably for those looking for office space over the course of the year. As such, the available stock of suitable office spaces is expected to re-open the difference between new-build and refurbished office spaces as, one might argue, it should be.
Looking at the levels of investment, it has also been reported by Savills that, over the course of the previous year, prime equivalent yields with regard to regional offices has moved in by 50 bps, hitting 4.75%. Additionally, the volume of investment into the market for office space outside of the capital city has risen notable during the past 2 years.
Savills’ Associate Director of Office Agency, Paddy Carter commented: “Leeds will see a step change in the quality and variety of space available to occupiers this year.” To pre-empt this, of course, there has already been a surge of interest from occupiers of all shapes and sizes.